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Author Topic: BOSS MS-3 Multi-effects & loop switcher REVIEW  (Read 918 times)

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Dante

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I bought this with the intention of using it to control my ADA Viper. It wouldn't switch the channels in the Viper, but it works well with my Peavey mini head. Harley said he was wondering about this unit, so I thought maybe some other folks might wanna get the lowdown on it;

It is very small. Very mighty. The only pedals I add are a TCE Mojomojo for my 'classic rock' tone (the Peavey is too brutal for that), and a EHX Pitch Fork. The pitch fork is a great whammy with an expression pedal and the octaver is better than the MS-3.

It has three effects loops, but you have to dedicate one to the amp. So, I put the amp in Loop 2, giving me the option of adding something before or after the amp. You can move all three loops elsewhere in the effects chain, but the 3 stay together as one. You cannot rearrange the loops themselves.

There is a proprietary editing app that you access via USB. It's worth the price of admission by itself, I love that app. Like other BOSS multi effects, there is a Manual mode that allows you to toggle between presets and stompboxes. You're using presets until you hit the Manual button, then you have individual stompboxes. That's pretty nice when you just wanna add a delay to your solo or a nice rotovibe to your clean patch.

There are two 'control' IN jacks and one control OUT. The control OUT switches the channels in the amp. One control IN has a Boss FS7 footswitch to use as a bank up/down...the other has a 1-button footswitch connected & I've set that to be my solo boost. As a backup, you can set each preset button to have another function, like a solo boost. So, let's say I select patch 2, if I hit the 2 button again, it activates the solo. To deactivate it, I either hit the 2 button again, or select another patch. The only drawback with using the patch button as a solo boost is if you're in Manual mode, you need to get out of that mode to access the switch again.

Having used the Boss GX-700 for so long now, the FX layout on the MS-3 is very similar and familiar. Some of the effects are very similar too. While the MS-3 is not an Eventide or EHX type quality, it is a great little workhorse for a gigging musician. It has what you need to cover a lot of bands in 4 hours, won't break the bank, and takes up very little room.

The one thing I haven't figured out yet is how to make it send midi changes...to use as a midi footswitch if I wanted to...but I have a midi footswitch already, so it's not a big priority yet.
« Last Edit: Time Format by Dante »
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic into Boss GX700, running direct in the board. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs

Harley Hexxe

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Hey Dante,
   
       Does the Viper need MIDI for channel switching? It would seem to me that since there are only two channels, it could do that with a momentary switch.

       I would have to go look at the Viper manual to see what's going on there.

Harley 8)
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Dante

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Harley, the Viper doesn’t have midi, it requires a crazy circuit to work. I found a way to use two buttons of a quad switch to accomplish the task. It only works with the 2 and 4 buttons, and only with the dip switches set a certain way

Here’s the thread about how to make a snakecharmer foot switch with a standard ADA quad switch
http://adadepot.com/index.php?topic=2046.msg23275#msg23275
« Last Edit: Time Format by Dante »
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic into Boss GX700, running direct in the board. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs

Harley Hexxe

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Hey Dante,

       Okay, I misunderstood your intent to use MIDI. I thought you meant to switch channels in the Viper, but you meant as a MIDI controller of other outboard gear. There should be a MIDI menu in the MS-3 I would imagine. Probably edits like the MIDI menu in the MP-2.

Harley 8)
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Dante

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UPDATE on an old thread:

The MS-3 works great as a midi controller, I found it a better alternative to the stock footswitch for my H&K Switchblade, and the H&K Grandmeister. Still able to access the 4 channels of the map via midi, then the MS-3 has 'manual mode' for 4 more stompboxes and the FS-7 for a dedicated Boost & Delay control. SIX OPTIONS for each patch, not bad

I use the proprietary app to set up the MS-3 patches and control functions, super easy, but I should really learn how to access that stuff on the unit itself - haha. The display screen is just too tiny sometimes in a live setting, but that's the trade-off of a small footprint on the pedal board I guess

So, to review; If you need a small multi effects with a lot of features, look at this. No, you're not going to rival studio effects with this, but they are more than usable Boss effects, and the unit is solidly built, like all Boss stuff. They have a new 3-button FX unit (GT1000 Core) that I haven't even explored yet. But, the 4 buttons on the MS-3 make it more intuitive with the 4 channels in my amp, soooo...

Here's what it looks like now, I rarely bring the Expression pedal (far right) but it makes a great Whammy pedal with the Pitch Fork
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic into Boss GX700, running direct in the board. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs

Harley Hexxe

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Pretty cool stuff!

   It's great to have flexibility that you can access at a touch of a button. Gee, that sounds a lot like ADA  :ada-big:
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MarshallJMP

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Gee, that sounds a lot like ADA  :ada-big:

Yes it does!!!
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Dante

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Pretty cool stuff!

   It's great to have flexibility that you can access at a touch of a button. Gee, that sounds a lot like ADA  :ada-big:

I'm trying my hardest to construct a rig that's as efficient as the ADA system is....it ain't easy. But, I have a programmable amp head with 4 voices, so that is very similar to an ADA preamp in theory. Add effects and amplification and you've emulated your ADA rig  :thumb-up:
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic into Boss GX700, running direct in the board. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs

Harley Hexxe

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You know, that's exactly what I'm doing with the cyber amps too.

    I think ADA has scarred all of us in that respect. It's a good thing.
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Dante

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You know, that's exactly what I'm doing with the cyber amps too.

    I think ADA has scarred all of us in that respect. It's a good thing.

Yes you are

It's certainly bittersweet
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ADA Gear: MP-1 Classic | MP-2 | MicroTube 200 | MicroFet | MXC w/Quad Switch
Current Live Rig (wait 10 min., it'll change): Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 40 Deluxe head into 1x12 speaker cab, using my Boss MS3 via 4CM & midi.
Current Rack rig: ADA MP-1 Classic into Boss GX700, running direct in the board. Also have a MicroTube 200 running into two Yamaha 1x12 cabs
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